Arcadia, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Hard to explain, but it appears that veteran racehorse Clubhouse Ride has a particular love for the Californian Stakes at Santa Anita.
The 6-year-old, trained by Craig Lewis, has just two wins over the last 12 months both in the same 1 1/8-mile stakes, the Californian. Last Saturday, Clubhouse Ride and jockey Joe Talamo put together a picture perfect race on the way to a half-length victory.
"We had a great trip," Talamo explained. "We were a little further back than I thought we would be, but we were in a comfortable spot. He seemed to pick it up a little every eighth of a mile and when I saw Corey (Nakatani) drift out a little into Storm Fighter, I dove in there and he fought 'em off the rest of the way. He ran really nice."
Clubhouse Ride, owned by Six-S Racing Stable and Nicholas Petralia, trailed the eight-horse field up the backstretch as 1-2 favorite Fury Kapcori set the pace.
"We were a little surprised (the way the pace unfolded) because we thought that (Bruce) Headley's horse (Storm Fighter) would go and that Fury Kapcori would try to track him," Lewis said.
The favorite had the lead at the top of stretch as Clubhouse Ride, sent off at 6-1, gained ground and engaged Fury Kapcori down the stretch.
"The pace seemed to be not unusual for this level," Fury Kapcori's trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said.
Clubhouse Ride and Fury Kapcori battled through the stretch with the defending race winner pulling out the win.
"This horse is as tough as they come; he's an alley fighter. He comes to run. His bankroll indicates it," Lewis said. "I knew he (Joe Talamo) had a lot of horse. I was just a little concerned if he was going to find daylight, but Joe's a great rider and the horse is very game."
The win was the fifth in Clubhouse Ride's 37-race career. However, he also has eight seconds and 10 thirds which amount to $1,220,132 in lifetime earnings.
Next up for Clubhouse Ride will probably be the $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 28, a race he finished fourth in behind Game On Dude last year when contested at Hollywood Park.